Preparing Your Business For Any Eventuality

Dan Rajkumar, MD of rebuildingsociety shares some tips for business owners picked up during his 12 years of running businesses.

Sometimes opportunity comes knocking at the funniest of times…

We know that 4 out of 5 businesses are not looking to raise finance at any given time, but if a competitor knocks on your door tomorrow asking you to buy them out, or if you spot a great opportunity for growth, then it is best to be prepared. After all, they say the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so here are a few hints and good practice tips help you to get lucky…

As someone running a growing business, you need to know a few things you can do to strengthen your credit risk profile now, so that when you do come to borrow funds, your business is best placed to be seen as low-risk, ensuring you get better interest rates.

It will take you 15 minutes to fix a few things that could save you thousands later on…

  • Having 4 or more directors registered a companies house means that credit companies will not look into the personal credit rating of the directors of the business. So it may be worth naming some passive NXDs on your board.
  • Pay your credit card a week before it’s due.
  • Pay suppliers who factor a week early, never be late in paying them.
  • Do everything you can to ensure your accounts are profitable, i.e. that you finish the year with positive net assets.
  • Make sure your accountants are named on your accounts with companies house.
  • Add a short 1 page directors report to your accounts including:
    • A review of the year – How did it go?
    • How has it been since then?
    • What is your future looking like?
  • Review your SIC code (if your industry average performance is a lot better than yours, this needs looking at)
  • If you pay yourself with dividends do not take more than you earn!
  • File full accounts that include your P&L.
  • Use your assets longer to lengthen the time of depreciation (for example try using cars for 10 years instead of 5), use time apportionment also.
  • Put IP on your balance sheet – did you know over 70% of organisations don’t know they have at least five things that can be registered as IP
  • Value work in progress or stock
  • Put your Directors loan into long-term liabilities if you do not intend to take it all next year (this improves your liquidity).
  • Manage your accountant
  • Add cash in bank to your accounts as an asset
  • Pay some tax. You may think it’s clever to pay zero tax, but it shows you are running a health business and may reduce the chance of a tax inspection.
  • Use R&D tax credits – as many as one in 5 companies are eligible

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